A recent addition to our daytime activities calendar has been regular visits from the children’s nursery around the corner from us, ‘Little Elms’. Our manager, Sue, approached a local care activities and training company called Lovejoy Centre to see what they could do for Heaton House residents. Anne-Marie from Lovejoy Centre suggested joining ‘the Encounter Project‘ which works to get different generations, especially younger children and older people in care homes, meeting up.
Little Elms thought it was a great idea for the children to visit the residents at Heaton House and the visits began. At first the older children aged 3 and 4 came along to show the residents pictures, read stories and sings songs. Now the younger 2 and 3 year olds come along too (separately) and we have play toys in the garden and bulging dressing up boxes!
Our Manager Sue Lamb says, “The children have such a positive effect on our residents every time they come. They love showing off their pictures and singing nursery rhymes together, it is really fantastic to watch them interacting and it’s such fabulous stimulus for our residents. Even those who can be somewhat withdrawn often open up to the children. What’s more they all remain positive even after the children have left too. We’ve built the relationship with Little Elms now so that some of our more able residents have been to the nursery and some have even visited the nursery’s allotment as well.”
We’re very thankful to Anne-Marie and all the staff and children from Little Elms the smiles those children bring to our residents faces are priceless and the staff love having them here too. Everyone gets on and has a whale of a time – I can see us doing this for a very long time to come.
We have also been featured in the Worthing Herald about the project and you can read that article here